Kendrapara, March 17: A six-year-old Muslim girl has topped recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita — a Hindu holy book — in Odisha’s Kendrapara district. The development comes days after over 40 Muslim clerics issued a fatwa against a Muslim teenager from Assam, Nahid Afrin, for singing.

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita chanting competition was held at a temple premises in Kendrapara this week. Noteworthy, the winner in sub-junior group, Firdaus, had the full support of her mother Arifa Bibi who stood by her daughter throughout the competition.

As reported by The Hindu, one of the three judges Akshaya Pani said that keeping in mind the sensitivity of the participation by Firdaus, they had to take many precautions, one of them getting the consent of her parents etc. He further added, that he was left surprised by the support Firdaus got from her mother not only permitted her to participate in the competition but, also remained by her throughout the event.

Reportedly, a total 46 children participated in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita chanting competition. The participants were judged on their ability to memorise slokas, presentation, audience preference, voice and involvement in the recital. “Firdaus scored 97.5 out of 100 in the competition,” said Mr. Pani.

Firdaus-A Bright Student

The report in The Hindu states that Firdaus is a student of Sobhaniya Sikshashrama, a residential school in Kendrapara town and recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita was part of the prayer class. The headmistress of the school Urmila Kar was quoted as saying by the newspaper that Firdaus is a very bright student. “As a Standard I student, she cannot read slokas. But she has memorised the slokas chanted during prayer classes as we lay emphasised on moral education,” Kar was quoted by The Hindu.

Recently on March 15, as many as 46 Assam Muslim clerics reportedly issued a fatwa against 16-year-old Nahid Afrin who sang songs against Islamic State terrorism. In the fatwa, the clerics asked her to not perform in public, as per reports. However, claims are also being made that the fatwa was not issued against her, but the venue of her program held in the vicinity of a mosque and a graveyard.

In 2015, a class VI girl Mariyam Asif Siddiqui from Mumbai had won he contest to explain the Hindu scripture of Bhagavad Gita and was in news for donating the reward money for girl child education.